Supporters of State Issue 1 say the proposed constitutional amendment will move Ohio in the right direction in fighting the opioid crisis. Backers of the ballot initiative say favoring treatment over prison time will save lives and money.
Shakyra Diaz, with Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice a crime victim advocacy group, says Issue 1 will help the state cut down on the prison population and divert the money saved into treatment and rehabilitation programs.
“We don’t have enough treatment options and we don’t have enough treatment options because so much of our public resources are going towards this growing prison system that is housing people who do not pose a public safety risk,” says Diaz.
The statewide ballot measure would amend the state constitution by reducing penalties for non-violent drug-related crimes.
Opponents say this will weaken law enforcement and take leverage away from prosecutors. They also argue these are changes that should be addressed through policy not the constitution.